I am strong - Daily Devotional for Women by Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women

Have you ever felt weak? Have you ever been at that point in life where your limit is reached and you just can’t handle things anymore? Me too.

“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25

Bless Online Discipleship For Women

MY DEPRESSION AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS 

In 2016, I experienced a severe suicidal depression. I remember feeling very weak. I knew my limit was reached. I couldn’t handle pain and suffering from mental cruelty in my marriage anymore.

Michel and I got married on 5/14/2016. It was a beautiful sunny day. Our wedding was in Norcross, GA. It took place at a Russian restaurant called “Verdi.”

Michel’s family came from Venezuela and it was the first time I met them. I remember how I was surprised when the entire time we spent together they called him “Michie” and not “Michel” even though he himself often referred to himself as “Mike.” It was just one breakthrough I had thinking “What else do I not know about him?”

I don’t speak Spanish. Michel’s grandma whom he calls “Mom” doesn’t speak English. One of my bridesmaids helped us communicate. I gave her a gift at our wedding. It was handmade traditional Russian craft called “Khokhloma.” It was a part of the large set I designed and had produced for me back in Russia.

picture of my curio cabinets

I remember Michel’s aunt and uncle bringing me and my bridesmaids to the wedding venue in their beautiful large white auto. 

Apparently, we were a few minutes late but I didn’t know the time as everyone wanted me to be relaxed, so they took all devices indicating time away from me. 

wedding pictures 

I remember seeing a relief on people’s faces when I arrived because they were worried that I got cold feet all of a sudden.

Nope, I didn’t. Actually, I had nothing but joy when my mentor walked me down the aisle and gave me away to Michel.

wedding video

As I walked closely, I saw Michel standing there in tears. I was confident that those were the tears of joy about our unity, togetherness, and future. Not actually.

He shared with me that these were the tears about him finally having his first wedding and feeling accomplished. I found that out the morning after our wedding and cold blood was running through my veins. I appeared as if I were a trophy to him…

After Michel and I got to our newlyweds suite at the Buckhead Intercontinental hotel, he got on the phone and became distant. 

As I stood there, in front of my beloved husband, in my wedding dress, waiting for his attention, Michel was busy texting with friends sitting in a chair alone in the right corner of our newlyweds suite. 

It was the strangest scenery I had ever encountered. 

I waited and waited as Michel had told me that his dream was to have a wedding he never had and to help his bride take the wedding dress off.  

I didn’t want to take the dress off by myself and rob him of the experience he considered special, yet Michel was busy texting in his corner chair.

That night turned into a painful and dramatic experience which caused some trauma and my OBGYN has to place me on antibiotics for a while. 

At the breakfast with my bridesmaid, Michel informed me that now that the wedding was checked off his list, life was going to be about his IronMan priorities.

Michel started disappearing every evening and weekend saying that he wanted to be an IronMan and complete in Kona. 

He called his IronMan bicycle “My other wife o cheat on you with” and rejected me sexually saying that he needs to save himself for his IronMan training.

Prior to our wedding, Michel asked me to honor him by taking his last name. That’s how  I became Anna Szabo. He also asked me to deposit my paycheck into our joint checking account he created with USAA. 

Now, my paycheck was spent and I was left with a balance of below zero dollars 3 times. I remember being at work and walking to get lunch… only to discover no money in our checking account.

I confronted Michel about his lifestyle. He filed for a divorce.

Four months after our wedding, a private server Jerry served me with Michel’s divorce papers at a Christian conference “Harvest.”

I was already depressed and severely suicidal by then. My confusion and despair were captured in a series of spoken word poems about depression.

depression and suicidal thoughts poems 

LEARNING TO DRAW STRENGTH FROM CHRIST 

You see, I tried to deal with the chaos and cruelty of this marriage on my own. I simply ran out of strength.

I was weak, confused, devastated, and hopeless. I was tired physically and exhausted emotionally. I didn’t want to open my eyes another time and wake up to another day of misery Michel lured me into so cleverly.

The narcissistic abuse I was enduring left me disoriented and desperate. I wrote poetry about everything I was exposed to at home: projection, gaslighting, discarding, and other narcissistic abuse techniques he exercised on me. 

all narcissist videos

On my own, I was done. There was nothing left. No light. No fight. No might. 

Deuteronomy 31:6 says this:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I started turning to Jesus for strength. 

Unable to think or do anything in my own strength anymore, I asked Jesus to guide, lead, empower, strengthen, and carry me through the journey I couldn’t understand.

I remember a beautiful sunny day. I was having a conversation with Jesus. And this  Biblical poem was born out of my heart-felt prayer.

“Lord, I need you!” 

Lord, I need you every hour, every moment of every day.

I need your guidance, your mercy, hold on to me tight.

I need you to never let go of me as I pray.

I need you to lead me, to renew me, to help me stay humble & kind. 

Every morning I start with my list of gratitude, God.

Every day I realize my weakness and your strength in it.

Every moment I reach out to you because I never forgot,

That I need you… without you I’ve already reached my limit. 

poetry video lord I need you

UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE 

Most of my marriage with Michel, I was under a care of a trauma counselor experienced working with victims of narcissistic abuse. 

I also worked with a Biblical counselor. We met every Wednesday at 5 pm. She was the one who led me to studying Spiritual Warfare. 

I realized by then that Satan came at me looking Saint. He lured me into his premeditated deception so eloquently. I was trapped while he enjoyed the pleasure of watching me fade. 

I was in a Warfare with Satan.

video when Satan comes at you looking saint

My Biblical counselor begun teaching me about the Armor of God needed to successfully fight the Spiritual Warfare.

Ephesians 6:10 describes the Armor in 

“The Armor of God” letter to Ephesians wrote by Paul from prison:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD

My Biblical counselor started practicing with me how to put on the Armor of God and how to fight back drawing strength from Jesus.

It was essential for me to understand Satan and his ways of attacks. I needed to  know his strategies and tactics. I needed to figure him out. 

Everything I learned about Satan and his evil doing I poured into this Biblical poem below describing Spiritual Warfare and how to fight it.

“Satan Comes At You Looking Saint”

Following Jesus, go where He’s going.

He always moved toward a mess,

Never without knowing.

Being His disciple isn’t easy,  

We, too, know where the mess is

But are we going there for real or just teasing? 

If you’re going to serve Christ wholeheartedly, 

Make sure you’re aware of Spiritual Warfare,

And I won’t talk about it guardedly.

Let me share with you vulnerably 

What I’ve learned about it so far unexpectedly, traumatically but very clearly and undoubtedly. 

As a Christian, you are aimed at.

Satan wants you compromised, disoriented, confused…

Trust me, because only from my personal experience can I claim that.  

Paul says: “Wage the war against sin inside yourself”

Knowing that, expect Satan to dig deep into your mind like a delf.

Jesus was attacked by Devil through temptation.

Jesus was God, in our human case of earthly flesh expect escalation. 

Satan often comes at you looking Saint.

Like a dream come true you never even hoped to see attained.

He deceives you with PREMEDITATED DECEPTION, not accidentally.

You’ll never even guess it’s him at first,

He is a pro, he deceives you so eloquently.

But the Holy Spirit will speak to you quietly,

He will issue a plenty of warning to protect you, 

Not out loud, no, but through your gut-feeling, silently. 

You’ll say in your next video:

“I had so much anxiety”

What do you think God does through our feelings? He warns us.

He gave me in my spiritual warfare warnings variety.

But God won’t impose Himself on us, ever.

He gave us our free will forever.

So as I was experiencing anxiety and not listening,

Satan looking Saint attacked me, with fake Christ-likeness bristling.

He lured me into his magnificent presence,

He trapped me in it with his sweet fake pleasance.

So, I was mind-blinded and my discernment was clouded initially,

When the Satan looked totally Saint and I was tricked into his PREMEDITATED DECEPTION so officially.

But once everything was set and done and the deceptive scheme was revealed,

My faith in our good good Father God was almost killed.

I felt devastated, disoriented, deceived, and confused,

I felt in doubt, in despair, traumatized and abused.

But the Bible already has for us all the answers. 

There’s a Godly solution even when attacked by Satan’s aces.

Paul orders us to go into the war with an Armor of God:

the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the “shoes” of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

These and also remember your Spiritual Warfare squad –

Your community of disciples, fellow believers,

Who can help you take a stand against Satan himself or his deceivers.

And at the end yes, you were warned and you weren’t listening, 

But God still wins because He uses all things together for your good, 

So no need for your spiritual stiffening.

Stay humble and kind, be loving,

And practice forgiveness.

Trust God, only listen next time, 

And on your tough journey just be His witness. 

Go tell everyone about His sufficient goodness and timely protection,

How much love you’ve received on your journey and His clear direction.

And the lessons you’ve learned from the Spiritual Warfare don’t ever forget.

And use the Armor of God again and again every chance you get.

Remember that in the midst of a Satan’s attack, 

The Holy Spirit will talk, so pay attention.

No need yet to prepare your memorial plaque,

Have hope – God will give you discernment for consideration.

Run to His Holy Word, pray and read,

And do it on your knees, 

Even if it’s a new thing to you, just commit.

You’ll feel so much peace.

Continue being a faithful follower of Christ,

Move toward the world’s mess and be a church to His people, 

Your discipleship might come at a high price, 

But Satan can’t disarm you, so don’t cripple. 

Rebuke Satan in the precious name of Jesus. Flee from sin.

Christ is our Lord and Savior. Amen. 

PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING 

A part of the Armor of God is prayer. 

After that Spiritual Warfare work with my Biblical Counselor, I did the Armor of God study by Precilla Shirer with my small group at church.

Every week, the homework included writing a strategic prayer based on the part of the Armor we studied that week. 

I wrote detailed and strategic prayers. And I decided not to keep them to myself but share them with anyone who’s enduring a Spiritual Warfare and needs help. 

These prayers helped me every time and I  still refer to them often. You can bookmark these prayers or add them to a playlist if you’d like a quick and easy access to them whenever you feel attacked.

all spiritual warfare prayers here

BEING STRONG IN THE LORD

As I begun drawing my strength from the Lord, I placed a reminder in my bedroom about the source of my power. 

picture of bedroom verse 

As Christ’s strength empowered me, I started experiencing healing. I was hungrily studying God’s word. I desired to follow Jesus’ teachings out of gratitude for the transformation I was experiencing.

John 14:15 says this:

“If you love me, keep my commands.”

I love Jesus. I decided to keep His commands out of gratitude for my salvation. I try my best and fail often. But the desire of my heart to honor God always perseveres.

Jesus asked me to forgive my offender, to trust in the Lord, to cast my anxiety on Him, to have peace and joy, and to love all people, even those who may be my enemies.

The more I tried obeying His commands, the more strength I gained. One step at a time, Jesus guided me out of my depression into His presence and joy. 

Trusting His word has been the most critical component of my healing and transformation. 

I now can say that I am strong.

What about you? Are you strong? 

If you draw your strength from Christ and trust in Him for guidance and protection, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it often.

I am strong.

I am strong in the power of the Lord,

And in the strength of His might I stand.

I’m courageous and fearless, trusting His word.

He empowers me as I honor His every command.

How is life different when you no longer walk in your own power but draw your strength from Christ instead? 

Share with me in the comments below so  I can cheer you on.

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